Ontario Supporting Expansion of Community Hubs Across the Province
Making it Easier to Use Public Properties for Community Hubs
Ontario has selected four projects across the province that will receive support under a new program to help establish community hubs, offering a number of public services for local residents under one roof.
Through the Surplus Property Transition Initiative (SPTI), the province will provide funding to cover property holding costs such as ongoing operating and maintenance costs for up to 18 months. During this time community groups will be able to find additional partners and develop long-term business plans to transition the properties to community hubs.
The projects include:
- Biindigen Community Hub, St. Helen's Elementary School in Hamilton: This proposed community hub will offer Indigenous and non-Indigenous services including: culturally safe health care, health promotion, traditional healing, recreation and wellness programming, before and after school care, licensed child care, and neighbourhood planning work.
- Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Centre and Odawa Native Friendship Centre, Rideau High School in Ottawa: This proposed community hub is a joint project between two community organizations focused on Indigenous and non-Indigenous services including: alternative secondary school, urban Indigenous healthy living, life-long care, programs such as those for homelessness and bail, community justice, healing and wellness, cultural resources, a food bank, Indigenous job fair, housing, HIV/AIDS awareness, employment and training, and Inuit supports for students and youth. Other community services will include: health, social, recreation, life-long learning, and community engagement services.
- Regional Skills Training, Trades & Innovation Community Hub, Sydenham Community Elementary School in Owen Sound: The proposed regional skills training community hub will include a trade and innovation centre to address barriers to rural employment and education through skilled trades, fine arts, energy, software, hairstyling and culinary arts. This hub will be connected to regional secondary schools and provide pathway opportunities for students.
- Indigenous Early Years Hub, Dr. McDougall Public School in North Bay: This proposed community hub will provide services to Indigenous communities including a child and family program and licensed day care, Indigenous cultural and linguistic programs and services for families, supported by local elders and Indigenous partners.
Supporting community hubs is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The Surplus Property Transition Initiative was announced in May 2017 and started accepting applications in July 2017. This initiative is designed to provide more time for local communities to develop viable business plans and complete due diligence before transitioning surplus properties into community hubs.
- While community hubs are locally-driven, the province’s role and objective is to make it easier for community partners to offer services that are integrated and coordinated, strengthening community partnerships and making the best use of public space.
- CommunityHubsOntario.ca offers free resources on community hub development, including webinar training sessions, a community hub mapper and various other tools.
- In 2017, Ontario released its second progress report on Community Hubs, describing the progress made since the release of the Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan.
“A community hub is more than just a building or concept, it is a place where families come to access the services, education and support they need to grow. We know that good plans take time to be realized, that is why Ontario is helping break down barriers for communities to access surplus public space. We are pleased to see such creative projects from across the province and look forward to following their success closely.”
“We know that planning for robust community hubs takes time, and the Surplus Property Transition Initiative has been designed to address this challenge head on. Providing the right programs and resources is integral to building these vibrant community hubs and for making better use of public spaces to benefit all Ontarians.”